Recently a participant of one of my yoga classes shared with us her experience of “desk lunches”, a way of having lunch while still working on the computer. As I heard her speak I recognised a theme that has been recurring with a number of my private clients who lead busy lives and often don’t feel they can take the time to eat or when they do eat they feel tense and stressed.
Did you know that if you eat on the go or when anxious or stressed this practice can lead to poor digestion and eating more? When you eat on the go your energy is not focussed to support digestion and, even worse, when you are stressed all your body systems are activated for “fight or flight” except the digestive system. It is the only one not activated, infact it slows down. This means that the nutrients in the food you eat, regardless of whether it is organic, local and seasonal, are not well assimilated into the cells in your body. Since your body still needs to be nourished you want to eat more.
So what can you do if you are feeling stressed and don’t feel you can take time for lunch?
Here are 3 strategies to use when you feel stressed.
1. Spend a few minutes doing some deep breathing exercises – if you know alternate nostril breathing, a hatha yoga technique, this can help you quickly destress.
2. Call a friend – sometimes just a few minutes connecting with someone can help you put things into perspective and let go of the tension/guilt you’re feeling about taking time just to eat your lunch and do nothing else.
3.Have a large warm drink – often our cells are dehydrated and hold on to tension/toxins. A warm drink, it can just be water, helps to improve elimination.
And once you’re feeling calmer and ready to eat remember this key point to support your digestion further.
Savour (and sip) - enjoy every mouthful of the food you eat, chew slowly to start the digestion process.If you’re eating with friends or family, enjoy their company. Also sip, don’t drink too much, so as not to dilute your digestive juices and reduce your digestive capacity.
Do you have questions about eating when stressed? Or experiences to share? Feel free to share your experiences/ questions below.
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